Factors that Determine the Value of Wrongful Death Claims

While it varies from case to case, insurance companies and First Coast personal injury attorneys tend to look at the same set of issues when valuing a wrongful death claim.

Financial Damages

A wrongful death settlement will, in large part, be based on mitigating the financial damages suffered by your family due to your loved one’s death. One of the most significant sources of financial damage your family will suffer is the loss of the deceased’s income over his or her lifetime. This is especially significant of the deceased was the primary source of income for your household. In order to make this determination, your First Coast personal injury attorney will look at the deceased’s wage statements, job history, and the health of the industry he or she worked in. This information is usually enough to extrapolate from, allowing the attorney to come to a reasonable estimate of what the deceased would have earned over his lifetime. This figure will be used as a starting point during the settlement negotiation. Your attorney will also factor in short-term financial damages such as funeral costs and medical bills. While these costs are not as big a factor as the wage calculation, your family still deserves to be compensated for them.


Your settlement will also be affected by the quality of the evidence that you have against the insured. If you have evidence to prove definitively that the insured’s negligence led to the accident, your settlement will be much larger than it would be if the evidence was more tenuous. Finally, it is key that you are being represented by an experienced personal injury attorney. Call today for a free initial consultation with First Coast personal injury attorney John Fagan.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
This entry was posted in Personal Injury. Bookmark the permalink.